NEW YORK (October 16, 2012) – Now that the state Supreme Court has affirmed Justice Bernette Johnson’s right to take her place as Chief Justice, the court can move forward in a spirit of cooperation and unity, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial said today.
"I’m relieved that the matter has finally been resolved in accordance with federal law,” Morial said. “I have always maintained that Justice Johnson’s status has never been in question, and that any attempt to deny her was an ill-advised attempt to undermine both the consent decree which created her seat and the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court’s ruling can now usher in a bright new chapter in the history of Louisiana.”
Morial was chair of the plaintiffs committee in Chisholm v. Edwards, which was settled in 1992 with the creation of a Supreme Court district to allow a fair opportunity for African American representation. The Justice Department of then-President George H.W. Bush signed off on the arrangement which gave that seat the full rights of a Supreme Court Judgeship.
Morial also was a member of the State Senate team that negotiated the settlement with then-Attorney General Richard Ieyoub and members of the Supreme Court. Additionally, Morial co-sponsored the legislation that effectuated the terms of the settlement.
CONTACT: Teresa Candori